Friends Of Ashfield Valley
Who are the Friends of Ashfield Valley?
The Friends of Ashfield Valley are a group of parents and local residents who work to support the families of children attending Ashfield Valley Primary School. The local population is largely of Pakistani origin, with many adults who are not confident in English, and who were educated overseas, and are unfamiliar with the British education system. There is a high level of deprivation in the local area.
The “Friends” group was set up in 1999, and eventually became a registered charity. The Friends work closely with the school, but provide activities, including Saturday trips, that are focussed on families participating together. The Friends plan and lead the activities independently, liaising with the school over the out of hours use of the building.
How do the Friends use their funding?
Grant funding allows the Friends to subsidise events and activities for families, thus increasing access by adults and children who might not otherwise participate in these activities. Grant funding also allows the Friends to provide crèches for their regular early evening meetings, facilitating the participation of parents and residents.
Eco Living Project 2009
This year the friends of Ashfield Valley have been involved in an Eco project that involved children and parents working and learning together to improve the environment at home, at school and in the community.
They have been involved in many activities such as;
- Parent & child planting.
- Gardening club.
- Development of a wildlife garden with a bird feeding station and nesting boxes.
- Making hanging baskets and planting tubs.
- Recycling and promoting litter awareness around school and in the community.
- Family educational visits to The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, Heaton Park Farm, Chester Zoo and Safari Park trip.
Family Learning Project 2008
The Friends chose“Family Learning” as their 2008 project, in response to parents who had expressed concern over their ability to support their children with their learning. This project focused on educational opportunities for parents and children.
- Provision of bilingual books encouraged parents to read with and to their children in English and in their own language. This also promoted the status of their own language as a literary medium.
- The “Story Sack” project involved parents in making toys and games to go with popular children’s books, to promote talk and reading. It also developed parents’ own confidence in English, as they read the stories themselves, and talked about the toys they made.
- There were trips to Eureka museum and Chester Zoo, and a theatre show was held in school; subsidised trips introduced these experiences to families who might otherwise not do such things together.
Healthy Living Project 2006-7
The Friends’ most recent project involved developing ideas about healthy living. This included First Aid training for parents, an evening looking at healthy eating, and sports and outdoor activities for parents and children. The children enjoyed watersports at the weekends with their parents, and both parents and children attended yoga classes held after school. Large parties of adults and children went on Saturday walking trips, including Hollingworth Lake and Bolton Abbey.